Video | 200 people protest golf course, 700 homes and luxury hotel plans


The protest rally that took place this Sunday in Maro, near Nerja. / EUGENIO CABEZAS

  • Banners carried by demonstrators proclaimed "We do not want golfers as neighbours, we prefer farmers"

Around 200 people demonstrated in Maro, near Nerja, on Sunday (25 April) to protest against the plans of Sociedad Azucarera Larios to build a golf course, 680 homes, luxury hotels and commercial areas on an area of 250 hectares of agricultural and protected land on the Tetuán fertile plain.

Protesters met carrying banners with messages such as 'Don’t touch Maro', 'No to the Larios Plan', 'We do not want golfers as neighbours, we prefer farmers' and 'We eat from this land'.

The unauthorised demonstration took place without incident although Guardia Civil and Local Police officers were present.

A manifesto was read rejecting the plans of the Nerja local government team to approve, at a council meeting scheduled for this coming Thursday, the urban agreement that will set the bureaucratic process in motion to enable this tourist and residential project.

The group claimed, "The town council continues to put itself at the service of Larios' interests to destroy our extraordinary agricultural protected area of the Las Mercedes and Maro area, expelling hundreds of tenant farmers.

“The council does an immense favour to Larios with nothing in return, only the usual false promises of development and progress; and a more than dubious job creation and tourist development. In the face of coronavirus crisis, it is clear that the tourism sector is much more sensitive and less resilient than the agricultural sector."

Participants in Sunday’s protest also said, "Neither can we forget the shameful management of the water treatment plant."

"Among the requirements that the golf course project must meet is the availability of water. That explains the irresponsible decision to locate the treatment plant next to the land that Larios intends to develop and turn into a golf course. Something that will not come for free to Nerja and Maro, condemned to eternally pay a hefty electricity bill for the treatment of sewage," they added.

Families and foreigners

Among the protestors were entire families with children of all ages, from both Maro and Nerja, who have cultivated the land for centuries.

There were also numerous foreigners, who have rented plots from Larios in the area in recent years.

The protesters have already collected some 10,000 signatures against the project.

Organisers of the demonstration plan another protest at 10am at the Nerja town hall this Thursday - when a council session will be held, but in a virtual format due to the pandemic. Protesters will carry boxes of fruit and vegetables grown on the Maro plains.